Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls or Tada Falls Near Chennai

Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls Or Tada Falls is situated at around 10 kilometers inside reserved forests near Varadhapalayam and Tada, in Chittor District, Andhra Pradesh state, India. It is one of the best weekend getaways for Chennai residents.

Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls Or Tada Falls

Varadhapalayam Falls or Ubbalamadugu Falls is situated deep inside reserved forests. Mud roads are there to go to the falls. Vehicles go through a very scenic route with a large lake on your left side.

Entry Procedure to Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls or Tada Falls

You need to get entry permit for each person and vehicle at the Andhra Pradesh forest department entrance gate. Entry is allowed from 6 am up to 4 pm in the evening. You need to come out by 6 pm. Entry fee per person is rupees 50. Two wheeler entry fee is also the same. Car entry fee is rupees 200. The rates are written at the entrance. There is a fee for camera also. Please confirm the rates and pay the amount, at the counter only. Forest department will issue you a receipt for the amount paid.

You need to travel around 3 or 4 kilometers from the entry gate to reach the parking lot. Some portions of the road are in off-road condition. On the left side of the parking lot, you will find a small temporary bridge to cross the stream.

You may come across a few people bathing here on one side this bridge. If  you walk straight, you can see the stream on your left side. Keep walking. Whenever you feel like bathing, turn to your left and take a refreshing bath int he cold waters of the stream. A word of caution. The water flow is very powerful to even carry adults. There are rocks along the path of the stream. Hence, take care.

This falls and the stream are one of the best falls I have seen in South India. Since the falls is hard to access (which needs to be trekked for a couple of hours along the stream side), very few tourists goes to the actual falls. Entry fee also prevents many from coming here. Many of the other nearby falls in Andhra Pradesh state line Kone Falls, does not charge any entry fee, vehicle entry fee, camera fee, etc.

How Do I Go to Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls Or Tada Falls?

Ubbalamadugu Falls alias Varadhapalayam Falls Or Tada Falls is very close to Tada town and Sri City. It is around 90 kilometers from Chennai city. Sriharihota rocket launching station is situated very close to Varadhapalayam and Sri City.

Always go via Tada. After crossing the Varadhapalayam goverment bus depot, you will find a sign board on the left side, written “Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls”.

If you ask locals near the state border in Tamilnadu, some of them may misguide you (out of ignorance of the falls) to go via Sathyavedu town. This route is circuitous and should be avoided. Right now, from Sathyavedu to Tada road, a large number of culverts are under construction. It is very tedious to travel by this route.

Anamudi Shola National Park near Munnar Hill Station

Anamudi Shola National Park is situated near to Munnar Hill station, in Idukki District, Kerala state. Anamudi park is one of the smallest national parks in India.

Anamudi Shola National Park Entrance
Anamudi Shola National Park Entrance

Anamudi Shola National Park is at an altitude of 2,152 meters (7,060 feet) to 2,305 meters (7,562 feet). It is located along the Western Ghats. Anamudi Wildlife Park is a protected area, spread over 7.5 square kilometers. It covers Idivara shola, Mannavan shola and Pullardi shola.

This national park is rich in flora and fauna. Tigers are seen in the protected area.

Mathikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary are the surrounding national parks to Anamudi Shola National Park.

Anamudi National Park is at around 130 kilometers from Periyar National Park. Periyar National park  is the  most famous national park and wildlife sanctuary in the state of Kerala.

How Do I Go to Anamudi Shola National Park?

Anamudi Shola National Park can be accessed from Kanthalloor-Perumala Road. Kanthalloor is the nearest village at around 4.5 kilometers away from the entry gate of the Anamudi Shola park.

It is situated at around 36 kilometers from Munnar Town.

Nature at its Best at Nilambur & the Teak Museum

Nilambur is a sleepy town in Malapuram district in Kerala, known for the abundant beauty of nature.

Hanging Bridge across Chaliyar at NilamburHanging Bridge across Chaliyar at Nilambur

Nilambur Teak Museum

Teak Museum at Nilambur is another tourist place in Malapuram district. It is closed on Mondays. This museum was established in 1995, with the assistance of  the Kerala Forest Department.

Nilambur museum gives insights into Teak tree’s  habitat, management, socioeconomic aspects, cultivation, history and it’s uses. Nilambur teak is famous for its quality.

Teak Museum in Nilambur offers Nature Trail at its Bio-resource Nature Park, spread over 40 hectors of land. Propagules of more than 1200 plant species  have been introduced in the nature park trail route.

Nature park was established by the sub-center of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), situated at Nilambur.  (Main Campus of KFRI is situated at Peechi in Thrissur district, Kerala.)

Other Attractions Inside Kerala Forest Research Institute sub-center at Nilambur

There is a Wildlife Museum inside the Kerala Forest Research Institute. There is also a Xylarium inside the institute, which has specimens of 600 tree species. The research institute has also established an Arboretum and a Botanic Garden. Bambusetum is another attraction inside the institute campus, with 70 species of bamboos.

Conolly’s Plot – A Must See Place in Nilambur

Conolly’s Plot or Canoli Plot alias Canoly’s Plot is situated at Vadapuram. It is at around 2 kilometers from Nilambur town. Canoli Plot alias Canoly’s Plot is considered as one of the world’s oldest teak plantations. The oldest teak here is known as Kannimari.

Canoly’s Plot Teak plantation was planted in 1846 by Mr. Chathu Menon.  Mr. H.V Conolly,  then Collector of Malabar, ordered this work and he himself supervised the work.

Chaliyar and Kurinjipuzh rivers flows through two sides of the Canoli Plot. Dense forests surround the other two sides.

A hanging bride (suspension bridge) connects Conolly’s Plot with the town.

How Do I Go to Nilambur?

Nilambur is connected by roads to other parts of Kerala.

Nilambur Road Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Nilambur. This railway route is one of the best scenic railway routes in south India. It is on the Shoranur – Nilambur section of southern railway.

Nilambur Teak museum is at around 4 kilometers from Nilambur Road Railway Station.

Conclusion

Are you interested going to Nilambur? Please leave your comments below.

Have you been to Netrani Island, famous for Scuba Diving?

Netrani Island is a small coral island off the coast of Karnataka, situated around 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) away from Murudeshwar town. It is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also rich in coral reef.

Netrani IslandNetrani Island off Arabian sea coast in India.

Sharp rocks and steep cliffs prevent tourists from entering the island. Scuba diving and snorkeling is done from anchored boats.

Netrani Island is rich in fauna. Butterfly fish, Coral,eels, parrot fish, trigger fish, shrimps, etc, can be seen here. Fish eagles can also be seen in large numbers, which feeds on sea snakes and fish. A Mongoose species is also seen here. Bats are also found in the island. Whale sharks were seen around the island, occasionally.

Netrani Island was being used by Indian armed forces for their target practice; remains of which can still be seen there. In 2012, Honorable High Court of Karnataka has issued a stay order on target practice here. Naval authorities has admitted that they are using a big rock here for target practice.

There are some shrines in the island.

How Do I Go to Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara (or Murdeshwar) and Goa are the nearest towns where dive shops are there. Murdeshwar shops charge you around 5000 to 6000 Rupees (negotiable). They will arrange diving trips to the island. Fishing motor boats also can take you to the island from Bhatkal Fishing Harbour.

Ideal time to visit the island is during the months of December and January.

Conclusion

Are you interested in going Netrani Island for scuba diving? Please leave your comments.

Mathikettan Shola National Park

Mathikettan Shola National Park or Mathikettan  National Park is one of the smallest national parks, with an area of just 12.82 square kilometers. This national park is at Poopara village in  Udumbanchola taluk, Idukki district, Kerala state.
An Elephant inside Mathikettan Shola National ParkAn Elephant inside Mathikettan Shola National Park

The area under the national park is a reserved forest. It is rich in flora and fauna. It became a  national park in 2003.

The word Mathikettan means ‘mind confuser’ in Tamil Language, an Indian language spoken in the area. One forgets the path once he or she enters the park. Hence, the name Mathikettan National park. For this reason, seek the help of a guide when going inside the park.

There are different trekking packages available, accompanied by  Forest department approved guides. There is a bird watching trekking route in the evening around 4’o clock. There is a morning trekking tour available, which starts at 6.30 am.

Pampadum Shola national park is another national park situated close to Mathikettan Shola park.

How Do I Go to Mathikettan Shola National Park?

Mathikettan Shola National Park is accessible form Poopara. Poopara is on the Munnar – Kumily road. Munnar is at around 34 kilometers distance. Similarly, Kothamangalam town is at around 90 kilometers distance from this national park.

Cochin International Airport  and Madurai International Airport are the nearest airports to the National park at around 123 and 141 kilometers distance, respectively.

Kottayam railway station is the nearest railway station to the National park, at around 155 kilometers distance.

Toll free number of  Kerala forest and wildlife department is  1 800 425 4733.

Conclusion

To sum up, Even though Mathikettan Shola National Park is one of the smallest national parks, it is rich in flora and fauna.

Are you going to the park? Please leave your comments below.